Myths and Legends
More Haunted Mansion Guesses, Gaffes, and Ghastly Ghost Stories
The Ghostly Knight in Armor
Contributed by Rick West
"That suit of armor (which contained a cast member that roamed the halls) was indeed there - but for a very short time. There is even a picture of it in the book Disneyland: The Inside Story. The suit was an idea that both Operations and Entertainment joined forces on, because the person in the suit was a different person from Entertainment each day.
"This posed a major problem, because the Cast Members coming from the Zoo Crew (the characters) didn't have the concept of hourly counts down. The problem came when the suit of armor was given a remote which all of the Mansion Cast Members carry that has the ability to shut off the ride system.
It is used to this day, but only in extreme situations such as folks with disabilities, elderly, etc. trying to board and disembark. The suit of armor would shut the ride off for anything - from people trying to hit him/her to people spitting at him/her. It became a major pain in the butt, and so the position and idea were short-lived. Another no-no was the fact that the Castmember in the suit occasionally touched guests as well, which is way out of line. The dressing room is still there, behind the breathing doors - but the suit of armor is a thing of the past, dwelling only in peoples' memories."
Special note: While short-lived, the memories of guests who were startled by a costumed knight (or a costumed "Phantom," which was another character that roamed the halls) are vivid. You can read all about the suit of armor from Cast Member Kyle Clark, who played the Knight for an entire summer during its short tenure in the Mansion. Click here to learn more.
More Mysteries from the Manse
The following are a few more story submissions for your perusal. Enjoy reading, although the staff of DoomBuggies.com will make no claims as to their accuracy...
with the Cane:" Is He Haunting Orlando to this Day?
Contributed by Michael Jamis
I worked the Orlando Mansion in 1978. At that time, a story about "The Man with the Cane" was already circulating. I was told he would appear in an empty Doombuggy in the load area late at night when ride operators were by themselves at the load position. Story goes a girl was working load late one night, they had gone down to one stretch room and the crowds were light. This meant there was usually a lapse in guests between stretch room dumps. This left you, the operator alone for a few minutes, walking the load belt, listening to that music and the sound effects, peering into the darkness that stretched into the ride at one end and from the unload area at the other. So one night this hostess is working load when from the unload area a Doombuggy rounds the corner with a man sitting in the middle of the seat, looking very gaunt, staring straight ahead, hands resting on a cane positioned in front of him.
The operator tries to make eye contact and say hello, the man does not respond but instead disappears with the Doombuggy as it works it's way into the ride. The hostess goes to the load console, calls the unload operator on the phone to say, "Who was that you just sent me? He wouldn't say hello!" To which the unload operator responded, I didn't send anyone around to you. They contacted their lead, all waited for the car to come out of the ride and of course when it did... it was empty. We were always told it was the ghost of Yale Gracey. Whether this is true or not I do not know, but I can tell you I cursed the employee who told me the story... especially on those late nights when I was alone, walking the load belt, listening to the music, staring at the wallpaper, the wallpaper staring back at me... I was so relieved when the stretch room doors would open and those guests would pop out...
True Mansion Ghost
Contributed by Scott M. Leonard
"A woman came to Disneyland with the ashes of her little boy who always loved the Haunted Mansion. She tried to get permission to scatter his ashes in the attraction, but of course Disney wouldn't allow it. She did it anyway- adding his remains to the dust in the Mansion. To this day, CMs and Guests have claimed to see a young boy near the exit lift, sitting by the speedramps and crying.
"Another ghost inhabits the Mansion. Near the unload area, there is a mirror so the CM can see if anyone comes down the speedramp. Once, a CM saw a figure that they though was in the CM costumeprobably their replacement "bumping" them to another location. But when they turned, there was nobody there. After a few more guests unloaded, the CM saw the figure again. This time, she noticed he was wearing a tuxedo, and he walked up right behind her. She turned, to see an empty hallway. Later that night, she saw the same figure, who walked up behind her, tried to talk (but no sound was heard), and placed his hand on her shoulder. Feeling a chill, she turned to once again see an empty hallway. Completely freaked out, she took off running out of the Mansion. She quit shortly afterward."
'The Beating Drum'
Contributed by Jay Lacano
"I had been a CM at the MK for about 6 months. Before coming to the Mansion I was trained as a Jungle Skipper. Needing the money (like most CMs), I would pick up greeter shifts at the Mansion. One night in July I was scheduled to close the attraction. It was a midnight closing so it was going to be pretty late when I got out of there. After chaining the main entrance, I walked inside to help with "walk-through". We do this after the ride stops to clean up and look around and all. We turned off all the sound, turned on all the worklights and went on in. Everything was fine until we reached the part of the ride known as "Seance Circle." When we walked in all the worklights were off, which we thought was odd, because they were still on in the previous show scene. Upon entering, my fellow CM asked if I heard anything. I said "Not really, why?" He then asked me to listen. I listened and heard this faint beating, like the sound of a drum. We were like, ok? So we kept walking and the further we got in, the louder it would get. We walked even quicker and got out of there! The minute we passed into the next show scene, the sound stopped and it was silent again. I tell you, it made me believe those stories about the Mansion being haunted..."
The Disappearing Blob
Contributed by "Steve" (Disney College Program Alumni '97 & '98)
"I worked at Walt Disney World this past summer on the Walt Disney World College Program from May until mid-August. I lived with five other roommates and had one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Anyway, one night, we decided to go visit the Magic Kingdom. We were one of the last people in the park. It had been a crummy day weather wise and the crowds had died down. We decided we'd go over to the Haunted Mansion during the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks so there would be no line and it would be the last ride of the day that they sent through. Well, there were four of us waiting by the doors all alone, no one else was there. One of my roommates decided to take a picture of us in with the gravestone in the backround. So, we all grouped together, snapped the picture and went on the ride a few minutes later.
"About a week later, my roommate developed his pictures. We were looking through the pictures and we came across the Haunted Mansion pictures. We just stared at it and couldn't say anything. You could see us all together, but the guy who was standing on the end, closest to the doors there was something wrong. Over his left shoulder, in the graveyard, there was this blob of white. We first thought that something was wrong with the film or it was developed wrong, but if you looked closely, the blob doesn't overlap my friend's shoulder. It appears as though the blob is physically behind him. Needless to say, we were a little unnerved. It's probably nothing but we pinned the photo on our apartment wall and it was our claim to fame. We tried to take another picture but we never saw the shape again."
Skinny Puppy Origins
Contributed by Dan D.
"The ledgedary Vancouver 80's/90's industrial band Skinny Puppy was on vacation as teenagers in the pre-puppy years and became infatuated with the dog in the mansion, hence the name SKINNY PUPPY. I heard them say that in an old interview. They also happen to be one of my favorite bands of all time."
Contributed by Tim McNamara
"Years ago, when I worked at the Haunted Mansion in Florida (1978-1981), there was a story circulating about a pilot who crashed into Bay Lake, (other side of the Contemporary Resort) in a small plane and died. This was reported to have happened in the 1940's, before WDW, of course. His ghost would be sighted in the Mansion late at night by Cast Members, working alone in position, waiting for the next group of guests. He may have been the infamous "Man with the Cane." This tale was also told by third shift maintenance, who would catch glimpses of this phenomenon after closing."